Performances, Resources

Making Grab Bag Gifts for Music Students


Need ideas for what to give all your music students this year for Christmas or to reward them after a performance?  Trying to stay within a budget?  How about making grab bags full of music goodies! Your students are bound to be thrilled with this music-themed gift.

First, buy a package of cellophane favor bags – music-themed ones if you can. They are usually located in the party favors/decorations section at the store. Dollar stores often carry them as well. A good deal will cost from $1.00 to $3.50 for a package of 20 bags. If you cannot find favor bags, you can also use small gift bags – but it will probably cost you a little more.  

Now the most important part: finding the items to put in the bags!  Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • stickers – Check dollar stores, Meijers, craft stores, and teacher supply stores.  I’ve ordered music-themed ones from music catalogues before also.
  • CD’s – Check the dollar store for cds of classical music. I’ve often been able to find classical piano music for my students.
  • pencils – Music-themed pencils can be found at craft stores and teacher supply stores, or in music catalogues.
  • erasers – Same as pencils.  Once, I managed to find packages of colorful music ones at the Dollar Store, but that was a rare find.
  • cookies – Make some colorfully decorated sugar cookies using a music note cookie cutter. Wrap each one with cellophane or put in zipper bags. Cookies make a great alternative to candy.
  • manuscript books – Try making your own manuscript books on the computer, to inspire your students to try composing their own pieces of music!   Check out Natalie Wickham’s manuscript book, available to download from her site for $5.00.
  • bookmarks – Look in music catalogues, or try making your own on the computer.  For examples, check out Susan Paradis’ bookmarks: she has made Christmas bookmarks, and photo bookmarks.  (She’s also made some pretty cute halloween bookmarks and autumn bookmarks as well, by the way.)
  • notepads – If you can’t find music-themed ones in the stores, just buy plain, inexpensive memo pads and decorate the covers with music stickers and glitter glue.

Places where you can find the above items:

  • dollar stores
  • teacher supply stores (for pencils, erasers, and stickers)
  • Meijers, party section
  • local music store
  • music catalogues online (such as Music in Motion)

Now the finishing touches!  Stuff each bag full with the items you purchased.  You do not have to include all of the gift items above. Choose 3-5 that you like best, and that should be more than enough to please your music students!

If the favor bags that you buy are mostly clear but you don’t want the students to see inside until they open them, you can loosely wrap the items with tissue paper to make them colorful and cute.

String a “to” and “from” tag (you could make your own music ones on the computer) onto some ribbon (either silk ribbon or paper ribbon is fine) and tie each bag shut with a pretty bow. Viola!  You have your music gifts.

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